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Dozens die of alcohol poisoning in Mexico amid COVID-19 lockdown

by ace
Dozens die of alcohol poisoning in Mexico amid COVID-19 lockdown

About 40 people died in central Mexico after drinking poisoned alcohol.

It is the latest in a series of mass alcohol poisonings recorded since the beginning of the COVID-19 blockades.

Many cities banned the legitimate sale of alcohol when they introduced the measure.

In the town of Chiconcuautla, in the state of Puebla, Mayor Artemio Hernández said on Wednesday that at least 18 people died from alleged methanol poisoning.

However, the city's Facebook page put the number at 25.

The Puebla state government said it closed stores where the suspected alcohol was sold and seized about 200 liters.

According to Hernández, it was a little known brand called Refino, which means "very well".

The victims may have drank the contaminated alcohol at a funeral over the weekend, said Puebla Interior Secretary David Méndez.

About 80 people gathered at the event, despite the ban on large-scale funerals under social distance measures designed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, inspectors found four 20-liter jugs of alcohol. It is believed to have killed 15 people (14 men and a woman) in the village of Telixtac and a nearby town.

These two incidents are the most recent, but not the only, mass poisonings that have occurred in Mexico in recent weeks.

In late April, 25 people died in the state of Jalisco after drinking a cheap brand of cane alcohol known as El Chorrito. Local media also reported that seven other people died recently from methanol poisoning in the village of Acanceh in Yucatán.

It is not yet clear whether these poisonings are related to the COVID-19 blockade.

Authorities did not say why people drank the poisoned alcohol. It may have been because legitimate alcohol was not available or because the economic effects of the blockade forced people to turn to cheaper versions of bootleg.

Methanol is a poisonous cousin of ethanol, which is present in normal alcoholic beverages and cannot be smelled or tasted. Methanol causes organ damage and brain damage. Its symptoms include chest pain, nausea, hyperventilation and blindness.

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